Part 2: Self Report (Self-Report (Closed Questions: Questions providing…
Part 2: Self Report
Method involving asking pp about feelings, attitudes or beliefs, e.g. questionnaires/interviews.
Type of self report method, pp responds to set of questions in written form. E.g. Rating scales and close/open ended questions.
Questions providing limited choice of responses no opportunity to expand on answers. Quantitative data.
Strengths- Easy to interpret/analyse because data collected is quantitative.
Easy to compare results because pp amswers using standardised responses, easily compared.
Weaknesses- May not reveal full/true extent of people's beliefs because they've been given set of 'forced' choice responses to choose from.
Lacks detail because it doesn't allow elaboration on how/why people think in certain way.
allow pp's give full detailed answers in own words i.e. no categories or choice given. Generate qualitative data.
Strengths- Highly detailed because allows elaboration on how/why people think in a certain way.
Generates rich qualitative data because pp's not 'forced' into an answer.
Weaknesses- Harder to analyse/compare results because each pp may have answered question in an individual/unique way.
Researcher bias because qualitative data collected, easily misinterpreted.
simple numerical scale on which pp can indicate extent or strength of some measure. Generate quantitative data.
type of question measuring attitudes using statement which pp's respond by choosing an option, e.g. strongly agree, agree, don't know, disagree or strongly disagree.
pp rates their response, making a cross on a scale between opposing pair of descriptive words.
Strengths- Easy to analyse/compare because data is quantitative.
Strength of person's response because identify strength of opinion rather than simple 'yes' or 'no'.
Weaknesses- Lacks detail doesn't allow elaboration on how/why people think a certain way.
Subjective because pp's may interpret scale differently (numbers might mean different things to different people).
Strengths of Questionnaires- Large amounts of data collected because quick and easy to administer. Therefore increases generalisability of findings. Often easy to analyse because closed q's and rating scales often used quantitative data.
Weaknesses of Questionnaires- Suffer from social desirability bias because pp's might lie in order to portray themselves in good light or socially acceptable way.
Lack detail because often use closed q's/rating scales, don't allow elaboration on how/why people think in a certain way.
Face-to-face conversations (can be over the phone) where pp's give information verbally.
Weaknesses- Interviewer bias because interviews tend to collect qualitative data, which is easily misinterpreted.
Time consuming and difficult to analyse because each pp may have responded in an individual/unique way.
Strengths- High in detail because interviews tend to collect qualitative data, allows elaboration on how/why people think in a certain way.
Collect more valid data because interviews allow rapport to be built with pp so more truthful data will be gained.
Ask mainly closed questions in a fixed order. These are scripted and standardised.
Strengths- Easier to analyse and compare results because each pp has answered a standardised set of questions.
Weaknesses- May not reveal true extent of people's beliefs because don't allow elaboration on the topic, answer only standardised questions given.
fixed list of open and closed questions, although interviewer can introduce additional questions if required.
Strengths- Collect more detailed data about pp's thoughts and feelings because more flexibility compared to structured interview.
Weaknesses- Researcher/interviewer bias because less standardisation, compared to structured interview, data more likely to be qualitative, easily misinterpreted.
begins with standard question for all, from then on, they depend on pp's answers. Interviewer may have a list of topics to cover.
Strengths- Reveal full extent of people's beliefs because allow elaboration on topic as set of standardised questions don't have to be followed.
High in detail because questions tend to collect qualitative data.
Weaknesses- Interviewer bias as questions don't need to be followed and data is qualitative, easily misinterpreted.
Difficult to analyse/compare because questions not standardised and qualitative in nature.
Reliability of Self Reports
Reliability is how consistent a measuring device is. Considered reliable if the same results are produced again in similar circumstances.
Factors affecting reliability:
Type of question (closed/open)
Control over interview (structured/unstructured)
How can reliability be tested?
Carry out test retest: Involves administering same questionnaire or interview twice to see if same results produced. If they do it's reliable.
Split-Half: Split questionnaire in half (e.g. odd and even numbers) comparing pp's scores on each half of the test. If similar it's reliable.
Improvements in reliability of self-reports
Clarify ambiguous/unclear questions
Use closed questions/structured interviews
Validity of Self Reports
Validity is whether a study measures what it claims to.
Factors affecting validity:
Social desirability bias (pp's may lie).
Open or closed questions/structured or unstructured interview
How can validity be tested?
Carry out concurrent validity: Where you compare your self report results with another on the same topic which we know is valid. If the same/similar results produced suggest our self report is valid.
Improvements in validity of self-reports
Avoid leading questions
Use open questions or unstructured interview
Small scale trial of a piece of research. Taking place before the real thing, highlighting flaws in research (e.g. sample, procedure, materials, instructions, questions, coding schemes, etc.) which can improve in the real thing.